Cyclic-nucleotide-gated (CNG) channels in outer segments of vertebrate photoreceptors generate electrical signals in response to changes in cyclic GMP concentration during phototransduction1. CNG channels also allow the influx of Ca2+, which is essential for photoreceptor adaptation2. In cone photoreceptors, cGMP triggers an increase in membrane capacitance indicative of exocytosis, suggesting that CNG channels are also involved in synaptic function3. Here we examine whether CNG channels reside in cone terminals and whether they regulate neurotransmitter release, specifically in response to nitric oxide (NO), a retrograde transmitter that increases cGMP synthesis and potentiates synaptic transmission in the brain4–6. Using intact retina, we show that endogenous NO modulates synapses between cones and horizontal cells. In experiments on isolated cones, we show directly that CNG channels occur in clusters and are indirectly activated by S-nitrosocysteine (SNC), an NO donor. Furthermore, both SNC and pCPT–cGMP, a membrane-permeant analogue of cGMP, trigger the release of transmitter from the cone terminals. The NO-induced transmitter release is suppressed by guanylate cyclase inhibitors and prevented by direct activation of CNG channels, indicating that their activation is required for NO to elicit release. These results expand our view of CNG channel function to include the regulation of synaptic transmission and mediation of the presynaptic effects of NO.
The hotdog fold is one of the basic protein folds widely present in bacteria, archaea, and eukaryotes. Many of these proteins exhibit thioesterase activity against fatty acyl-CoAs and play important roles in lipid metabolism, cellular signaling, and degradation of xenobiotics. The genome of the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa contains over 20 genes encoding predicted hotdog-fold proteins, none of which have been experimentally characterized. We have found that two P. aeruginosa hotdog proteins display high thioesterase activity against 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA and glutaryl-CoA (PA5202), and octanoyl-CoA (PA2801). Crystal structures of these proteins were solved (1.70 and 1.75 Å) and revealed a hotdog fold with a potential catalytic carboxylate residue located on the long alpha helix (Asp57 in PA5202 and Glu35 in PA2801). Alanine replacement mutagenesis of PA5202 identified four residues (Asn42, Arg43, Asp57, and Thr76), which are critical for activity and are located in the active site. A P. aeruginosa PA5202 deletion strain showed an increased secretion of the antimicrobial pigment pyocyanine and an increased expression of genes involved in pyocyanin biosynthesis suggesting a functional link between the PA5202 activity and pyocyanin production. Thus, the P. aeruginosa hotdog thioesterases PA5202 and PA2801 have similar structures, but exhibit different substrate preferences and functions.
hotdog fold; thioesterase; crystal structure; pyocyanin; Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Maf (for multicopy associated filamentation) proteins represent a large family of conserved proteins implicated in cell division arrest but whose biochemical activity remains unknown. Here, we show that the prokaryotic and eukaryotic Maf proteins exhibit nucleotide pyrophosphatase activity against 5-methyl-UTP, pseudo-UTP, 5-methyl-CTP, and 7-methyl-GTP, which represent the most abundant modified bases in all organisms, as well as against canonical nucleotides dTTP, UTP, and CTP. Overexpression of the Maf protein YhdE in E. coli cells increased intracellular levels of dTMP and UMP, confirming that dTTP and UTP are the in vivo substrates of this protein. Crystal structures and site-directed mutagenesis of Maf proteins revealed the determinants of their activity and substrate specificity. Thus, pyrophosphatase activity of Maf proteins toward canonical and modified nucleotides might provide the molecular mechanism for a dual role of these proteins in cell division arrest and house cleaning.
•Maf proteins represent a family of nucleoside triphosphate pyrophosphatases•Maf proteins hydrolyze the canonical nucleotides dTTP, UTP, and CTP•Maf proteins are also active against m5UTP, m5CTP, pseudo-UTP, and m7GTP•Maf structures reveal the molecular mechanisms of their substrate selectivity
Tchigvintsev et al. show that Maf proteins are a family of nucleotide pyrophosphatases active against both canonical and modified nucleotides. This suggests that Mafs might have a dual role in cell division and in the prevention of the incorporation of modified nucleotides into cellular nucleic acids.
The crystal structure of a short-chain dehydrogenase/reductase from B. anthracis strain ‘Ames Ancestor’ is reported.
The crystal structure of a short-chain dehydrogenase/reductase from Bacillus anthracis strain ‘Ames Ancestor’ complexed with NADP has been determined and refined to 1.87 Å resolution. The structure of the enzyme consists of a Rossmann fold composed of seven parallel β-strands sandwiched by three α-helices on each side. An NADP molecule from an endogenous source is bound in the conserved binding pocket in the syn conformation. The loop region responsible for binding another substrate forms two perpendicular short helices connected by a sharp turn.
short-chain dehydrogenases/reductases; NADP; Bacillus anthracis
HopPmaL is a member of the HopAB family of type 3 effectors present in the phytopathogen Pseudomonas syringae. Using both X-ray crystallography and solution NMR, we demonstrate that HopPmaL contains two structurally homologous yet functionally distinct domains. The N-terminal domain corresponds to the previously-described Pto-binding domain, while the previously uncharacterised C-terminal domain spans residues 308 to 385. While structurally similar these domains do not share significant sequence similarity and most importantly demonstrate significant differences in key residues involved in host protein recognition suggesting that each of them targets a different host protein.
We present the crystal structures of two universal stress proteins (USP) from Archaeoglobus fulgidus and Nitrosomonas europaea in both apo- and ligand-bound forms. This work is the first complete synthesis of the structural properties of 26 USP available in the Protein Data Bank, over 75% of which were determined by structure genomics centers with no additional information provided. The results of bioinformatic analyses of all available USP structures and their sequence homologs revealed that these two new USP structures share overall structural similarity with structures of USPs previously determined. Clustering and cladogram analyses, however, show how they diverge from other members of the USP superfamily and show greater similarity to USPs from organisms inhabiting extreme environments. We compared them with other archaeal and bacterial USPs and discuss their similarities and differences in context of structure, sequential motifs, and potential function. We also attempted to group all analyzed USPs into families, so that assignment of the potential function to those with no experimental data available would be possible by extrapolation.
Archaeoglobus fulgidus; crystal structures; Nitrosomonas europaea; pathogens; sequence analyses; structural comparison; structural genomics; universal stress protein
Isochorismatase-like hydrolases (IHL) constitute a large family of enzymes divided into five structural families (by SCOP). IHLs are crucial for siderophore-mediated ferric iron acquisition by cells. Knowledge of the structural characteristics of these molecules will enhance the understanding of the molecular basis of iron transport, and perhaps resolve which of the mechanisms previously proposed in the literature is the correct one.
We determined the crystal structure of the apo-form of a putative isochorismatase hydrolase OaIHL (PDB code: 3LQY) from the antarctic γ-proteobacterium Oleispira antarctica, and did comparative sequential and structural analysis of its closest homologs. The characteristic features of all analyzed structures were identified and discussed. We also docked isochorismate to the solved crystal structure by in silico methods, to highlight the interactions of the active center with the substrate.
The putative isochorismate hydrolase OaIHL from Oleispira antarctica possesses the typical catalytic triad for IHL proteins. Its active center resembles those IHLs with a D-K-C catalytic triad, rather than those variants with a D-K-X triad. OaIHL shares some structural and sequential features with other members of the IHL superfamily. In silico docking results showed that despite small differences in active site composition, isochorismate binds to in the structure of OaIHL in a similar mode to its binding in phenazine biosynthesis protein PhzD (PDB code 1NF8).
iron uptake; isochorismatase hydrolases; structural comparison of isochorismatases; structural genomics
Dethiobiotin synthetase (DTBS) is involved in the biosynthesis of biotin in bacteria, fungi and plants. As humans lack this pathway, dethiobiotin synthetase is a promising antimicrobial drug target. We determined structures of DBTS from H. pylori (hpDTBS) bound with cofactors and a substrate analog and described its unique characteristics relative to other DTBS proteins. Comparison with bacterial DTBS orthologues revealed considerable structural differences in nucleotide recognition. The C-terminal region of DTBS proteins, which contains two nucleotide-recognition motifs, greatly differs among DTBS proteins from different species. The structure of hpDTBS revealed that this protein is unique and does not contain a C-terminal region containing one of the motifs. The single nucleotide-binding motif in hpDTBS is similar to its counterpart in GTPases, however, ITC binding studies show that hpDTBS has a strong preference for ATP. The structural determinants of ATP specificity were assessed through X-ray crystallographic studies of hpDTBS:ATP and hpDTBS:GTP complexes. The unique mode of nucleotide recognition in hpDTBS makes this protein a good target for H. pylori-specific inhibitors of the biotin synthesis pathway.
Type III effectors are virulence factors of Gram-negative bacterial pathogens delivered directly into host cells by the type III secretion nanomachine where they manipulate host cell processes such as the innate immunity and gene expression. Here, we show that the novel type III effector XopL from the model plant pathogen Xanthomonas campestris pv. vesicatoria exhibits E3 ubiquitin ligase activity in vitro and in planta, induces plant cell death and subverts plant immunity. E3 ligase activity is associated with the C-terminal region of XopL, which specifically interacts with plant E2 ubiquitin conjugating enzymes and mediates formation of predominantly K11-linked polyubiquitin chains. The crystal structure of the XopL C-terminal domain revealed a single domain with a novel fold, termed XL-box, not present in any previously characterized E3 ligase. Mutation of amino acids in the central cavity of the XL-box disrupts E3 ligase activity and prevents XopL-induced plant cell death. The lack of cysteine residues in the XL-box suggests the absence of thioester-linked ubiquitin-E3 ligase intermediates and a non-catalytic mechanism for XopL-mediated ubiquitination. The crystal structure of the N-terminal region of XopL confirmed the presence of a leucine-rich repeat (LRR) domain, which may serve as a protein-protein interaction module for ubiquitination target recognition. While the E3 ligase activity is required to provoke plant cell death, suppression of PAMP responses solely depends on the N-terminal LRR domain. Taken together, the unique structural fold of the E3 ubiquitin ligase domain within the Xanthomonas XopL is unprecedented and highlights the variation in bacterial pathogen effectors mimicking this eukaryote-specific activity.
Numerous bacterial pathogens infecting plants, animals and humans use a common strategy of host colonization, which involves injection of specific proteins termed effectors into the host cell. Identification of effector proteins and elucidation of their individual functions is essential for our understanding of the pathogenesis process. Here, we identify a novel effector, XopL, from Xanthomonas campestris pv. vesicatoria, which causes disease in tomato and pepper plants. We show that XopL suppresses PAMP-related defense gene expression and further characterize XopL as an E3 ubiquitin ligase. This eukaryote-specific function involves attachment of ubiquitin molecule(s) to a particular protein targeted for degradation or localisation to specific cell compartments. Ubiquitination processes play a central role in cell-cycle regulation, DNA repair, cell growth and immune responses. In the case of XopL this activity triggers plant cell death. Through structural and functional analysis we demonstrate that XopL contains two distinct domains, one of which demonstrates a novel fold never previously observed in E3 ubiquitin ligases. This novel domain specifically interacts with plant ubiquitination system components. Our findings provide the first insights into the function of a previously unknown XopL effector and identify a new member of the growing family of bacterial pathogenic factors hijacking the host ubiquitination system.
The structural characterization of acyl-carrier-protein synthase (AcpS) from three different pathogenic microorganisms is reported. One interesting finding of the present work is a crystal artifact related to the activity of the enzyme, which fortuitously represents an opportunity for a strategy to design a potential inhibitor of a pathogenic AcpS.
Some bacterial type II fatty-acid synthesis (FAS II) enzymes have been shown to be important candidates for drug discovery. The scientific and medical quest for new FAS II protein targets continues to stimulate research in this field. One of the possible additional candidates is the acyl-carrier-protein synthase (AcpS) enzyme. Its holo form post-translationally modifies the apo form of an acyl carrier protein (ACP), which assures the constant delivery of thioester intermediates to the discrete enzymes of FAS II. At the Center for Structural Genomics of Infectious Diseases (CSGID), AcpSs from Staphylococcus aureus (AcpSSA), Vibrio cholerae (AcpSVC) and Bacillus anthracis (AcpSBA) have been structurally characterized in their apo, holo and product-bound forms, respectively. The structure of AcpSBA is emphasized because of the two 3′,5′-adenosine diphosphate (3′,5′-ADP) product molecules that are found in each of the three coenzyme A (CoA) binding sites of the trimeric protein. One 3′,5′-ADP is bound as the 3′,5′-ADP part of CoA in the known structures of the CoA–AcpS and 3′,5′-ADP–AcpS binary complexes. The position of the second 3′,5′-ADP has never been described before. It is in close proximity to the first 3′,5′-ADP and the ACP-binding site. The coordination of two ADPs in AcpSBA may possibly be exploited for the design of AcpS inhibitors that can block binding of both CoA and ACP.
acyl-carrier-protein synthase; acyl carrier protein; type II fatty-acid synthesis; inhibition; 3′,5′-adenosine diphosphate; coenzyme A
For the last decade, worldwide efforts for the treatment of anthrax infection have focused on developing effective vaccines. Patients that are already infected are still treated traditionally, using different types of standard antimicrobial agents. The most popular are antibiotics such as tetracyclines and fluoroquinolones. While aminoglycosides appear to be less effective antimicrobial agents than other antibiotics, synthetic aminoglycosides have been shown to act as potent inhibitors of anthrax lethal factor and may have potential application as antitoxins. Here, we present a structural analysis of the BA2930 protein, a putative aminoglycoside acetyltransferase, which may be a component of the bacterium’s aminoglycoside resistance mechanism. The determined structures revealed details of a fold characteristic only for one other protein structure in the PDB, namely YokD from Bacillus subtilis. Both BA2930 and YokD are members of the Antibiotic_NAT superfamily (PF02522). Sequential and structural analysis showed that residues conserved throughout the Antibiotic_NAT superfamily are responsible for the binding of the cofactor acetyl coenzyme A. The interaction of BA2930 with cofactors was characterized by both crystallographic and binding studies.
Antibiotics resistance; Aminoglycoside N-acetyltransferase; Bacillus anthracis; AcCoA; crystal structure
Gluconeogenesis converts three carbon units into glucose. Here we identify an analogous pathway in Saccharomyces cerevisiae for converting three carbon units into ribose, a component of nucleic acids and nucleotides. This riboneogenic pathway involves the enzyme sedoheptulose-1,7-bisphosphatase (SHB17), whose activity was identified based on accumulation of sedoheptulose-1,7-bisphosphate in the corresponding knockout strain. We determined the crystal structure of Shb17 in complex with sedoheptulose-1,7-bisphosphate, and found that the sugar is bound in the closed furan form in the active site. Like fructose-1,6-bisphosphate, sedoheptulose-1,7-bisphosphate is produced by aldolase, in this case from erythrose 4-phosphate and dihydroxyacetone phosphate. Hydrolysis of sedoheptulose-1,7-bisphosphate by SHB17 provides an energetically favorable input to the non-oxidative pentose phosphate pathway to drive ribose production. Flux through SHB17 is enhanced under conditions when ribose demand is high relative to demand for NADPH, including during ribosome biogenesis in metabolically synchronized yeast cells. Thus, riboneogenesis provides a thermodynamically-driven route of ribose production uncoupled from formation of NADPH.
The crystal structure of Escherichia coli MoaB was determined by multiwavelength anomalous diffraction phasing and refined at 1.6-Å resolution. The molecule displayed a modified Rossman fold. MoaB is assembled into a hexamer composed of two trimers. The monomers have high structural similarity with two proteins, MogA and MoeA, from the molybdenum cofactor synthesis pathway in E. coli, as well as with domains of mammalian gephyrin and plant Cnx1, which are also involved in molybdopterin synthesis. Structural comparison between these proteins and the amino acid conservation patterns revealed a putative active site in MoaB. The structural analysis of this site allowed to advance several hypothesis that can be tested in further studies.
The Type VI secretion pathway transports proteins across the cell envelope of Gram-negative bacteria. Pseudomonas aeruginosa, an opportunistic Gram-negative bacterial pathogen infecting humans, uses the type VI secretion pathway to export specific effector proteins crucial for its pathogenesis. The HSI-I virulence locus encodes for several proteins that has been proposed to participate in protein transport including the Hcp1 protein, which forms hexameric rings that assemble into nanotubes in vitro. Two Hcp1 paralogues have been identified in the P. aeruginosa genome, Hsp2 and Hcp3. Here, we present the structure of the Hcp3 protein from P. aeruginosa. The overall structure of the monomer resembles Hcp1 despite the lack of amino-acid sequence similarity between the two proteins. The monomers assemble into hexamers similar to Hcp1. However, instead of forming nanotubes in head-to-tail mode like Hcp1, Hcp3 stacks its rings in head-to-head mode forming double-ring structures.
Type VI (T6SS) secretion system; Hcp3; Hcp1; X-ray crystallography; Structural genomics
Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPRs) and the associated proteins (Cas) comprise a system of adaptive immunity against viruses and plasmids in prokaryotes. Cas1 is a CRISPR-associated protein that is common to all CRISPR-containing prokaryotes but its function remains obscure. Here we show that the purified Cas1 protein of Escherichia coli (YgbT) exhibits nuclease activity against single-stranded and branched DNAs including Holliday junctions, replication forks, and 5′-flaps. The crystal structure of YgbT and site-directed mutagenesis have revealed the potential active site. Genome-wide screens show that YgbT physically and genetically interacts with key components of DNA repair systems, including recB, recC and ruvB. Consistent with these findings, the ygbT deletion strain showed increased sensitivity to DNA damage and impaired chromosomal segregation. Similar phenotypes were observed in strains with deletion of CRISPR clusters, suggesting that the function of YgbT in repair involves interaction with the CRISPRs. These results show that YgbT belongs to a novel, structurally distinct family of nucleases acting on branched DNAs and suggest that, in addition to antiviral immunity, at least some components of the CRISPR-Cas system have a function in DNA repair.
Cas1; CRISPR; DNA recombination; DNA repair; nuclease; YgbT
Cyclic diguanylate (c-di-GMP) is a ubiquitous second messenger regulating diverse cellular functions including motility, biofilm formation, cell cycle progression and virulence in bacteria. In the cell, degradation of c-di-GMP is catalyzed by highly specific EAL domain phosphodiesterases whose catalytic mechanism is still unclear. Here, we purified 13 EAL domain proteins from various organisms and demonstrated that their catalytic activity is associated with the presence of 10 conserved EAL domain residues. The crystal structure of the TDB1265 EAL domain was determined in a free state (1.8 Å) and in complex with c-di-GMP (2.35 Å) and unveiled the role of the conserved residues in substrate binding and catalysis. The structure revealed the presence of two metal ions directly coordinated by six conserved residues, two oxygens of the c-di-GMP phosphate, and potential catalytic water molecule. Our results support a two-metal-ion catalytic mechanism of c-di-GMP hydrolysis by EAL domain phosphodiesterases.
EAL domain; cyclic di-GMP; phosphodiesterase; X-ray crystallography; Thiobacillus denitrificans
Microbial enzymes produced in the gastrointestinal tract are primarily responsible for the release and biochemical transformation of absorbable bioactive monophenols. In the present work we described the crystal structure of LJ0536, a serine cinnamoyl esterase produced by the probiotic bacterium Lactobacillus johnsonii N6.2.
We crystallized LJ0536 in the apo form and in three substrate-bound complexes. The structure showed a canonical α/β fold characteristic of esterases, and the enzyme is dimeric. Two classical serine esterase motifs (GlyXSerXGly) can be recognized from the amino acid sequence, and the structure revealed that the catalytic triad of the enzyme is formed by Ser106, His225, and Asp197, while the other motif is non-functional. In all substrate-bound complexes, the aromatic acyl group of the ester compound was bound in the deepest part of the catalytic pocket. The binding pocket also contained an unoccupied area that could accommodate larger ligands. The structure revealed a prominent inserted α/β subdomain of 54 amino acids, from which multiple contacts to the aromatic acyl groups of the substrates are made. Inserts of this size are seen in other esterases, but the secondary structure topology of this subdomain of LJ0536 is unique to this enzyme and its closest homolog (Est1E) in the Protein Databank.
The binding mechanism characterized (involving the inserted α/β subdomain) clearly differentiates LJ0536 from enzymes with similar activity of a fungal origin. The structural features herein described together with the activity profile of LJ0536 suggest that this enzyme should be clustered in a new group of bacterial cinnamoyl esterases.
Recent case reports describe multidrug-resistant influenza A pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus infection in immunocompromised patients exposed to neuraminidase inhibitors because of an I223R neuraminidase mutation. We report a case of multidrug-resistant pandemic (H1N1) 2009 bearing the I223R mutation in an ambulatory child with no previous exposure to neuraminidase inhibitors.
viruses; influenza A; H1N1; pandemic; drug resistant; oseltamivir; zanamivir; dispatch; expedited
We report an interaction between poxA, encoding a paralog of lysyl tRNA-synthetase, and the closely linked yjeK gene, encoding a putative 2,3-β-lysine aminomutase, that is critical for virulence and stress resistance in Salmonella enterica. Salmonella poxA and yjeK mutants share extensive phenotypic pleiotropy including attenuated virulence in mice, an increased ability to respire under nutrient limiting conditions, hypersusceptibility to a variety of diverse growth inhibitors and altered expression of multiple proteins including several encoded on the SPI-1 pathogenicity island. PoxA mediates post-translational modification of bacterial elongation factor P (EF-P), analogous to the modification of the eukaryotic EF-P homologue, eIF5A, with hypusine. The modification of EF-P is a mechanism of regulation whereby PoxA acts as an aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase that attaches an amino acid to a protein resembling tRNA rather than to a tRNA.
The direct isolation of integron gene cassettes from cultivated and environmental microbial sources allows an assessment of the impact of the integron/gene cassette system on the emergence of new phenotypes, such as drug resistance or virulence. A structural approach is being exploited to investigate the modularity and function of novel integron gene cassettes.
We report the 1.8 Å crystal structure of Cass2, an integron-associated protein derived from an environmental V. cholerae. The structure defines a monomeric beta-barrel protein with a fold related to the effector-binding portion of AraC/XylS transcription activators. The closest homologs of Cass2 are multi-drug binding proteins, such as BmrR. Consistent with this, a binding pocket made up of hydrophobic residues and a single glutamate side chain is evident in Cass2, occupied in the crystal form by polyethylene glycol. Fluorescence assays demonstrate that Cass2 is capable of binding cationic drug compounds with submicromolar affinity. The Cass2 module possesses a protein interaction surface proximal to its drug-binding cavity with features homologous to those seen in multi-domain transcriptional regulators.
Genetic analysis identifies Cass2 to be representative of a larger family of independent effector-binding proteins associated with lateral gene transfer within Vibrio and closely-related species. We propose that the Cass2 family not only has capacity to form functional transcription regulator complexes, but represents possible evolutionary precursors to multi-domain regulators associated with cationic drug compounds.
A crystal structure of the putative N-carbamoylsarcosine amidase (CSHase) Ta0454 from Thermoplasma acidophilum was solved by single-wavelength anomalous diffraction and refined at a resolution of 2.35 Å. CSHases are involved in the degradation of creatinine. Ta0454 shares a similar fold and a highly conserved C-D-K catalytic triad (Cys123, Asp9, and Lys90) with the structures of three cysteine hydrolases (PDB codes 1NBA, 1IM5, and 2H0R). Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of Ta0454/N-carbamoylsarcosine and Ta0454/pyrazinamide complexes were performed to determine the structural basis of the substrate binding pattern for each ligand. Based on the MD simulated-trajectories, the MM/PBSA method predicts binding free energies of −24.5 and −17.1 kcal/mol for the two systems, respectively. The predicted binding free energies suggest that Ta0454 is selective for N-carbamoylsarcosine over pyrazinamide, and zinc ions play an important role in the favorable substrate bound states.
N-carbamoylsarcosine amidase; C-D-K catalytic triad; creatinine degradation; crystal structure; MM/PBSA; molecular dynamics simulations
Comparative genomic studies have identified many proteins that are found only in various Chlamydiae species and exhibit no significant sequence similarity to any protein in organisms that do not belong to this group. The CT670 protein of Chlamydia trachomatis is one of the proteins whose genes are in one of the type III secretion gene clusters but whose cellular functions are not known. CT670 shares several characteristics with the YscO protein of Yersinia pestis, including the neighboring genes, size, charge, and secondary structure, but the structures and/or functions of these proteins remain to be determined. Although a BLAST search with CT670 did not identify YscO as a related protein, our analysis indicated that these two proteins exhibit significant sequence similarity. In this paper, we report that the CT670 crystal, solved at a resolution of 2 Å, consists of a single coiled coil containing just two long helices. Gel filtration and analytical ultracentrifugation studies showed that in solution CT670 exists in both monomeric and dimeric forms and that the monomer predominates at lower protein concentrations. We examined the interaction of CT670 with many type III secretion system-related proteins (viz., CT091, CT665, CT666, CT667, CT668, CT669, CT671, CT672, and CT673) by performing bacterial two-hybrid assays. In these experiments, CT670 was found to interact only with the CT671 protein (YscP homolog), whose gene is immediately downstream of ct670. A specific interaction between CT670 and CT671 was also observed when affinity chromatography pull-down experiments were performed. These results suggest that CT670 and CT671 are putative homologs of the YcoO and YscP proteins, respectively, and that they likely form a chaperone-effector pair.
One hundred and seventy‐one genes encoding potential esterases from 11 bacterial genomes were cloned and overexpressed in Escherichia coli; 74 of the clones produced soluble proteins. All 74 soluble proteins were purified and screened for esterase activity; 36 proteins showed carboxyl esterase activity on short‐chain esters, 17 demonstrated arylesterase activity, while 38 proteins did not exhibit any activity towards the test substrates. Esterases from Rhodopseudomonas palustris (RpEST‐1, RpEST‐2 and RpEST‐3), Pseudomonas putida (PpEST‐1, PpEST‐2 and PpEST‐3), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PaEST‐1) and Streptomyces avermitilis (SavEST‐1) were selected for detailed biochemical characterization. All of the enzymes showed optimal activity at neutral or alkaline pH, and the half‐life of each enzyme at 50°C ranged from < 5 min to over 5 h. PpEST‐3, RpEST‐1 and RpEST‐2 demonstrated the highest specific activity with pNP‐esters; these enzymes were also among the most stable at 50°C and in the presence of detergents, polar and non‐polar organic solvents, and imidazolium ionic liquids. Accordingly, these enzymes are particularly interesting targets for subsequent application trials. Finally, biochemical and bioinformatic analyses were compared to reveal sequence features that could be correlated to enzymes with arylesterase activity, facilitating subsequent searches for new esterases in microbial genome sequences.
The Pseudomonas aeruginosa PsrA autorepressor has dual roles as a repressor of the fadBA5 β-oxidation-operon and an activator of the stationary-phase sigma factor rpoS and exsCEBA-operon of the type III secretion system (TTSS). Previously, we demonstrated that the repression of the fadBA5-operon by PsrA is relieved by long-chain fatty acids (LCFA). However, the signal affecting the activation of rpoS and exsC via PsrA is unknown. In this study, microarray and gene-fusion data suggested that LCFA (e.g. oleate) affected the expression of rpoS and exsC. DNA binding studies confirmed that PsrA binds to the rpoS and exsC promoter regions. This binding was inhibited by LCFA, indicating that LCFA directly affects the activation of these two genes through PsrA. LCFA decreased rpoS and exsC expression, resulting in increased N-(butyryl)-l-homoserine-lactone quorum-sensing signal and decreased ExoS/T production, respectively. Based on the crystal structure of PsrA, site-directed mutagenesis of amino acid residues, within the hydrophobic channel thought to accommodate LCFA, created two LCFA-nonresponsive PsrA mutants. The binding and activation of rpoS and exsC by these PsrA mutants was no longer inhibited by LCFA. These data support a mechanistic model where LCFA influence PsrA regulation to control LCFA metabolism and some virulence genes in P. aeruginosa.
NleG homologues constitute the largest family of type 3 effectors delivered by pathogenic E. coli, with fourteen members in the enterohaemorrhagic (EHEC) O157:H7 strain alone. Identified recently as part of the non-LEE-encoded (Nle) effector set, this family remained uncharacterised and shared no sequence homology to other proteins including those of known function. The C-terminal domain of NleG2-3 (residues 90 to 191) is the most conserved region in NleG proteins and was solved by NMR. Structural analysis of this structure revealed the presence of a RING finger/U-box motif. Functional assays demonstrated that NleG2-3 as well as NleG5-1, NleG6-2 and NleG9′ family members exhibited a strong autoubiquitination activity in vitro; a characteristic usually expressed by eukaryotic ubiquitin E3 ligases. When screened for activity against a panel of 30 human E2 enzymes, the NleG2-3 and NleG5-1 homologues showed an identical profile with only UBE2E2, UBE2E3 and UBE2D2 enzymes supporting NleG activity. Fluorescence polarization analysis yielded a binding affinity constant of 56±2 µM for the UBE2D2/NleG5-1 interaction, a value comparable with previous studies on E2/E3 affinities. The UBE2D2 interaction interface on NleG2-3 defined by NMR chemical shift perturbation and mutagenesis was shown to be generally similar to that characterised for human RING finger ubiquitin ligases. The alanine substitutions of UBE2D2 residues Arg5 and Lys63, critical for activation of eukaryotic E3 ligases, also significantly decreased both NleG binding and autoubiquitination activity. These results demonstrate that bacteria-encoded NleG effectors are E3 ubiquitin ligases analogous to RING finger and U-box enzymes in eukaryotes.
Many bacterial pathogens utilize a multiprotein ‘‘injection needle’’ termed the type III secretion system to deliver a set of proteins called effectors into the host cell. These effectors then manipulate host signalling pathways to the advantage of the pathogen, often mimicking eukaryote-specific activities. We present a study of an uncharacterised family of effectors called NleG, secreted primarily by enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) O157:H7, a causative agent of human gastroenteritis. We solved the solution structure of a conserved C-terminal region of an NleG family member by NMR. Structural analysis demonstrated that the NleG structure is similar to the RING finger/U-box domain found primarily in eukaryotic ubiquitin ligases. The activity of these domains in eukaryotes is an essential part of the ubiquitination signalling system. Due to its central role in cell metabolism and the host immune response, the ubiquitination system has emerged as a primary target for bacterial effectors. Our biochemical analysis demonstrated that NleG proteins selectively interact with human E2 ubiquitin conjugating enzymes and exhibit in vitro activity typical of eukaryotic E3 ligases. Our data reveal that NleG effectors structurally and functionally mimic host U-box/RING E3 ubiquitin ligases. Future research will focus on determining targets of NleG ubiquitin ligase activity and the role in E. coli pathogenesis.